People in east Texas need to brace themselves and get ready, because the way has been cleared for a major stretch of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada.  Barring a successful legal challenge, it's coming.

 

The Beaumont Enterprise reports the US Army Corps of Engineers has granted construction permits for the builder, TransCanada, to build the lower half of the pipeline from Oklahoma to refineries on the Texas coast.  The Corps is still reviewing permits for other sections of the pipeline.

The planned route will take the pipeline through 17 east Texas counties, including Angelina.  Landowners in those counties are vowing to fight TransCanada's use of eminent domain powers to get easements and rights of way across their land.

The Keystone pipeline has become a major political issue.  Environmentalists say it will bring unnecessary environmental and pollution dangers to the United States.  Supporters say it will create jobs and reduce American dependence on oil from the Middle East.